Friday, February 8, 2013

Celery- Not Just a Stick of Water

We all know we should be eating more vegetables and fruits.  What's so important about these foods that we need them to maintain our health?  Well I'm here to help, and learn more myself along the way.  

Over the next several months I'll be highlighting different vegetables and fruits so that we can all learn more about why we need them, and how they can keep us healthy!

The honor of being the first vegetable on the list goes too...celery!  Aren't you excited?!  Seriously though there are some real reasons to be excited about celery...

Celery


Benefits:  


Celery is extremely low in calories, and high in anti-oxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, as well as a dozen others.  It protects cells, blood vessels, and organs from unwanted cell damage.  It's a good source of vitamin K, which allows blood to clot.  Celery is also anti inflammatory, including in the digestive tract.

Celery
1.00 cup
101.00 grams
16.16 calories
NutrientAmountDV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin K29.59 mcg37.041.2excellent
folate36.36 mcg9.110.1very good
vitamin A453.49 IU9.110.1very good
potassium262.60 mg7.58.4very good
molybdenum5.05 mcg6.77.5very good
fiber1.40 g5.66.2very good
vitamin C3.13 mg5.25.8very good
manganese0.10 mg5.05.6very good
calcium40.40 mg4.04.5good
vitamin B20.06 mg3.53.9good
tryptophan0.01 g3.13.5good
magnesium11.11 mg2.83.1good
vitamin B50.25 mg2.52.8good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
Rule
excellentDV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very goodDV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
goodDV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%
In Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners recommend celery as a general health tonic and a diuretic, to relieve pain from arthritis or gout and to reduce hypertension or high cholesterol
Celery is very rich in apigenin and luteolin, flavones called phytoestrogens because they bind to estrogen receptors. Research suggests that flavones might interfere with estrogen in certain hormone-dependent cancers. In an epidemiological study published in 2006 in the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute," the authors concluded that consuming flavone-rich foods was associated with reduced risk of uterine cancer.  
A laboratory study published in "Molecular Cancer Therapy" in 2008 reported that cultured breast cancer cells exposed to apigenin stopped growing, leading to the suggestion that it might provide a new therapy for certain types of breast cancer.  (source- emphasis mine)

Recommendations:  


Eat celery with in 5-7 days of buying it to get the greatest amount of nutrients from it.  Other ways of getting the most nutrients out of it include steam cooking it (as opposed to blanching or boiling it), and wait to chop it up till it's close to when you're going to eat it.

Buy stalks that are closely packed together, are firm, and have bright green colors.

Celery may interact with diuretics or blood thinners, so people who are on these type of medications may want to avoid celery.  Also women who are pregnant, or people who have kidney disease, should avoid celery seeds.

On rare occasions some people may develop an allergic reaction, or sensitivity to sunlight, from consuming celery.

Why Buy Organic:


Celery has been reported to have more pesticides sprayed on it than any other vegetable, 64 kinds according to the USDA.

The pesticides include-
13 Known or probably carcinogens (which means cancer causing).
31 Suspected hormone disruptors.
12 Neurotoxins.
14 Developmental or reproductive toxins.
20 Honeybee toxins.

Uses:


Celery is great in a variety of recipes from raw "ants on a log", to tuna sandwiches, soups, added to salads (including the leaves which have most of the vitamin C, calcium and potassium in them- use in 1-2 days), soups, juiced with carrots, and many others.


Enjoy your celery, and all it's crazy amazing amount of health benefits!


Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/about_5373882_foods-vitamin-k.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/556103-celery-estrogen/
http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=CE


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